A Woman Alone: Autobiographical Writings Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to Bessie, revolutionary movements are composed of people living with what?

2. In "Makeba music," Bessie states that she believes in what?

3. In Chapter2, how does Bessie describe her third novel, "A Question of Power"?

4. In her research for her novel, "Maru," Bessie worked right at the roots of what?

5. What is the only industry that the British used Botswana for?

Short Essay Questions

1. In "God and The Underdog," what does Bessie feel fuels revolutions?

2. In "A Note on Rain Clouds," what does Bessie state is thwarting young, idealistic, black men and their ideals?

3. How does Bessie describe the world that a black South African is born into?

4. Why does Bessie consider Botswana the "most unique and distinguished country in Africa"?

5. In "Notes on Novels," why is Bessie having difficulty writing about her years in South Africa?

6. In the conclusion of Chapter 2, how does Bessie summarize her life experiences?

7. What was Bessie's life like during the two years that she lived in the refugee community in northern Botswana?

8. Why was Bessie able to write in Botswana rather than South Africa?

9. In "Despite Broken Bondage . . .," how were women treated in Africa before independence?

10. What is Bessie's opinion of Botswana men?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Oppression stunted and almost obliterated Bessie's creativity. And yet, the musician, Makeba, seemed to revel in it. Why do you think it would affect two people so differently? Is it a question of passion? Does it create more passion for some and less for others? Do you think that Makeba's passion for liberation fueled her in a creative sense? Did she use the situation to her own advantage? Did Bessie's avoidance of anything liberatory or revolutionary deny her this? Had she been more liberal, might she have been able to write?

Essay Topic 2

Conflict is the main theme of "A Woman Alone". Do you think that there was just as much internal conflict in the book as external? Do you believe that external conflicts are a direct result of individual internal conflicts? Explain Bessie's internal conflict regarding her avoidance of all things revolutionary and liberatory. Was she always proud of this? Did it sometimes create problems with others? Do you think that Bessie avoided these issues because she didn't think that they were effective or because she knew that she couldn't deal with them mentally?

Essay Topic 3

Bessie views African religion as "within oneself," with no need for institutions or communal worship. Does this seem to work well, for them? Why does Bessie think that this fits into their basic philosophy of life? Bessie states that this is the religion of any people who have never been wanted by the rest of mankind nor had the means or education to find God in a "posh place." Do you agree with this statement? Does a place of worship have to be posh? Is the fact of a community coming together more important than the structure that they worship in? Why, do you think, she assumes that all organized religions have elegant places of worship? Do you think she's right? Given the black South African's sense of being set apart from the rest of the world, do you think their type of "individual" worship only serves to emphasize their "aloneness"? Would a more group-based religion make them feel like part of something larger?

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